The Electoral Commission (EC) has said it will conduct elections to elect regional representatives to the Council of State on February 12, this year.
The scheduled election is in accordance with Paragraph (C) of Clause (2) of Article 89 of the 1992 Constitution.
A statement issued by the EC yesterday said all qualified persons who intended to stand for the elections must submit their nomination forms, with two postcard size copies of recent photographs (bust), to the EC Regional Director in their respective regions.
The submission of completed nomination forms must be done at the regional offices of the EC between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday, February 1 to Thursday, February 4, this year.
The nominees must be proposed and seconded by two registered voters and supported by 20 registered voters from the respective regions.
“Every nomination must be proposed and seconded by two (2) registered voters and supported by 20 registered voters in the region,” the statement said.
It added that the consent of the candidate must also be endorsed thereon.
“Copies of the nomination forms may be downloaded free of charge from the EC’s website (www.ec.gov,gh) and completed in triplicate,” it said.
The EC has, however, not indicated the venues for the elections.
A source close to the EC confirmed to the Daily Graphic that with the regions now increased to 16, it meant automatically that 16 people would be elected to the new Council of State to be formed.
“In 2017, there were only 10 regions and so we held elections to choose 10 regional representatives. However, now that we have 16 regions, it stands to say that there will be elections in all 16 regions,” it explained.
The source, however, would not say if that would affect the number of people nominated by the President or membership would be expanded to include six more people to represent the six regions that had been created.
Council of State
The establishment of a Council of State in Ghana is a constitutional requirement brought into being by articles 89 to 92 of the 1992 Constitution, which says: “There shall be a Council of State to counsel the President in the performance of his functions”.
The Council of State that served during President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s first term was made up of 25 people and chaired by the Paramount Chief of the Asante-Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Otuo Siriboe II.
The term of office of members of the council is in agreement with the term of office of the President.
Membership of the council includes prominent citizens who are elected to represent each region, as well as those nominated by the President to advise him on national issues.
Each region elects a representative, while the President also appoints 11 members.
The ex-officio members are a former Chief Justice of Ghana, a former Chief of the Defence Staff, a former Inspector General of Police and the President of the National House of Chiefs.